Differences between Coralife and Current compactflourscents?

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Lance M.

Aquarium Advice Addict
May 1, 2004
South Carolina
It's been six months so time to get some replacement bulbs. I have a 130 watt ( 2x65watt bulbs) Coralife fixture.

I am wondering if it would be better to get Current replacements-
1 SunPaq Dual Daylight 10,000k/Actinic 460nm
1 Sunpaq Dual Actinic 420/460nm

Or should I get Coralife replacements-
1 50/50 and 1 Actinic

The Current replacements look like they have more light, like more spectrums if you know what I'm trying to say. Or could they basically be the same exact things?

Anyone had both?

o And I have a 65 watt fixture over my freshwater planted so would I want to get a Current 6,500k/10,000k replacement bulb instead of a Coralife 6,500k replacement?
I was in the same exact situation a few months ago myself. Went back and forth for a couple weeks, but finally bought Coralife replacements. Obviously, I can't give you a comparison with the SunPaq bulbs.

BUT... I will say that I was surprised how much brighter the exact same Coralife bulbs were when I put the new ones in. The old ones were only 6 months old, and the new ones seemed way brighter than the original ones did when they were new. Somewhere, I heard that the bulbs that come with the fixture are never quite as bright as new ones. Don't know why that is, or if it's even true, but figured I'd pass it along in case you get the SunPaq's and think, "Wow... these things are WAY brighter than the Coralife's!"
Thanks for the info. I'll keep that in mind Kurt.

Still looking for any help on the differences between the bulbs. The only differences I can tell are that the Current bulbs are an inch longer and are $3 cheaper than the Coralife. But I dont know what the differences in spectrum are. Like is the Coralife Actinic the same spectrum as the SunPaq 420nm/460nm?
The spectrums are the same, yes. Actinic lighting is the same as 420 nm.

If it were mine I'd get the coralife bulbs to replace with. A coralife actinic is going to look the same as a current actinic, just like a coralife 10k is gonna look the same as a current 10k. Same thing, just a different company.

As for the price difference, I assume it's just a difference in markup amounts. That's a guess though.
Coralife actinic is the same as the 420nm and 460nm?

And for my planted would it be better to get the 6500k/10,000k combo or just 6500k or 10,000k?
Actinic lighting is simply a range/spectrum of lighting, just like 10k, 14k, 20k, etc. is. ALL actinic lighting will be in the 420/460 nm range. If it isn't, it's not true actinic. Hope that makes sense.

6500k is a yellow light, 10k is more white, 20k goes more blue. Natural sunlight is at 6500k so most people with planted tanks like 6700k bulbs but the truth is that it doesn't really make a huge difference. I think you'll be happy with a combo of 6500k and 10k, but that's just my opinion. The aesthetics is all up to you :)
Ok so it's just what I think looks best. I guess I'll just go with Coralife again because I need a 32 watt replacement bulb and drsfostersmith.com doesnt have it so I'll just order all 4 bulbs from hellolights.com.

In my 130 watt fixture, I'm switching from one 10,000k and one actinic to one 50/50 and one actinic because it seems to make the colors from the corals stand out more from the added blue spectrum. A post by melosu convinced me to try it out and it looks nice and he said his corals are growing very well so I'm going to do the same as him and see how it goes (lots of "and"s).
right now, i have 4x65w Odyssea CF fixture on my 75g - 2x10k and 2xactinic. I love the colors that it brings out with that combo, and my plants have no problem growing!!!
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